Less than a quarter of working carers are supported by their employers, Eldercare reveals

Eldercare – a provider of elderly care support, today releases new research revealing the mental, physical and professional strain that juggling a job with caring for an elderly relative is having on the UK’s workforce. The ‘Invisible Carers’ research of over 2,000 working carers shows that less than a quarter (24%) of those caring for an elderly relative outside of work receive ongoing support from their employer – with a majority finding that support is only given during an emergency situation (47%) or none at all (29%).

As a result, many are now balancing caring duties alongside their careers – 50% have checked-in with an elderly relative over the phone, 46% have received distressing calls from their relative and 40% have taken calls from a concerned carer or family member, all during working hours.

A huge number of respondents are acting as a carer for a parent or grandparent on a daily or weekly basis (85%), and a similar number considering themselves the first response should something happen to the relative they care for (82%). The impact this is having is clear:

  • ·27% have taken up to a week of annual leave
  • Almost a fifth (18%) have used their personal days (e.g. bereavement leave)
  • A further third (32%) have considered asking their employer to work flexibly
  • 15% have considered stopping work altogether
  • 15% have thought about taking on a less demanding role
  • 12% have considered taking a pay cut

Sue Hawksworth, Director of Eldercare, comments: “Working carers in the UK are facing an uphill battle. Employers often take little issue if a parent has to leave work to attend to a sick child, yet there is a stigma attached to caring for the elderly which is a difficult hurdle to overcome for many employees who care for an elderly family member.”

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